May is Arthritis Awareness Month
An estimated 58.5 million adults in the U.S. are affected by some form of arthritis, which breaks down to about 23.7% of the population. As the number of older Americans continues to grow, and the rates of obesity and overweight increase, the number of people with arthritis-attributable activity limitations will only increase.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, especially amongst older people. For the unfamiliar, OA mostly affects cartilage. The surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, these changes can affect the bones, tendons, and other joint tissues.
While there is no cure for arthritis, joint pain and other OA symptoms can be managed through treatment, lifestyle changes, and education. If you are wondering how, when, or where to get started, make an appointment with your healthcare provider and use the Talking With My Provider Worksheet to get you moving on a path to less joint pain.